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J Biol Chem. 2003 Oct 17;278(42):40989-95. Epub 2003 Aug 4.

Structural and functional uncoupling of the enzymatic and angiogenic inhibitory activities of tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase-2 (TIMP-2): loop 6 is a novel angiogenesis inhibitor.

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  • 1Laboratory of Surgical Research, Vascular Biology Program, Children's Hospital Boston, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.


Tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinases (TIMPs) regulate tumor growth, progression, and angiogenesis in a variety of experimental cancer models and in human malignancies. Results from numerous studies have revealed important differences between TIMP family members in their ability to inhibit angiogenic processes in vitro and angiogenesis in vivo despite their universal ability to inhibit matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) activity. To address these differences, a series of structure-function studies were conducted to identify and to characterize the anti-angiogenic domains of TIMP-2, the endogenous MMP inhibitor that uniquely inhibits capillary endothelial cell (EC) proliferation as well as angiogenesis in vivo. We demonstrate that the COOH-terminal domain of TIMP-2 (T2C) inhibits the proliferation of capillary EC at molar concentrations comparable with those previously reported for intact TIMP-2, while the NH2-terminal domain (T2N), which inhibits MMP activity, has no significant anti-proliferative effect. Interestingly, although both T2N and T2C inhibited embryonic angiogenesis, only T2C resulted in the potent inhibition of angiogenesis driven by the exogenous addition of angiogenic mitogen, suggesting that MMP inhibition alone may not be sufficient to inhibit the aggressive neovascularization characteristic of aberrant angiogenesis. We further mapped the anti-proliferative activity of T2C to a 24-amino acid peptide corresponding to Loop 6 of TIMP-2 and show that Loop 6 is a potent inhibitor of both embryonic and mitogen-stimulated angiogenesis in vivo. These findings demonstrate that TIMP-2 possesses two distinct types of anti-angiogenic activities which can be uncoupled from each other, the first represented by its MMP-dependent inhibitory activity which can inhibit only embryonic neovascularization and the second represented by an MMP-independent activity which inhibits both normal angiogenesis and mitogen-driven angiogenesis in vivo. In addition, we report, for the first time, the discovery of Loop 6 as a novel and potent inhibitor of angiogenesis.

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